Posts Tagged "trick or treat"

Happy Halloween and the Origin of Jack-o’-Lanterns

Dear Kid,


It is the wonderful time of year when ghosts can be friendly, princesses roam the streets, and candy has no calories.

College Jack-o'-lantern barfing. DearKidLoveMom.comUnless you’re in college in which case ghosts are ghosts, princesses roam the streets, and beer has no calories.

Meanwhile, you’ve probably been wondering about jack-o’-lanterns. Fear not, kiddo, I am here to provide answers.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Stingy Jack. Jack was a big drinker (did I mention this is an Irish folk tale?), and one day S.J. was out drinking with the Devil. Being a bit devilish himself, Stingy Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks. Once the Devil was money, S.J. put the coin into his pocket with a silver cross (to prevent the Devil from un-coining himself).

Fast forward to the negotiation part of the story and Jack promised to free the Devil if he (the Devil) wouldn’t bother him (Jack) for a year and if he (the Devil) agreed that if Jack died he (the Devil) could never clam his (Jack’s) soul.

Deal. (The Devil was not big on being a coin.)

In this story, the Devil wasn’t particular smart and allowed himself to be tricked again by Stingy Jack but that part isn’t very interesting so we’re skipping it.

Eventually, Stingy Jack died. S.J. wasn’t on the guest list for heaven, but the Devil had promised not to take him to hell. Dilemma. Jack was sent to wander around on earth with only a burning coal for light. He (Stingy Jack) put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, which in one fell swoop saved his hands from burning and turned Stingy Jack into Jack of the Lantern or Jack o’ Lantern.

Hence and therefore, the Irish carved scary faced into turnips, beets, potatoes, and the occasional rutabaga to scare off Stingy Jack (or other wandering spirits).

One wonders at the logic of this since it’s not entirely obvious that a person who drank with and outwitted the Devil twice would be the least intimidated by a carved vegetable.

Happy Halloween!

Love, Mom

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Puppy Conversations | Discussing Halloween

Dear Kid,

It’s almost Halloween. Actually, I’m pretty sure you’ve already had one Halloween weekend but maybe not. Or maybe you get a second one.

Halloween Trick or Treat DearKidLoveMom.comI decided I’d better have a conversation with the Puppy about the approaching festivities.

Me: Friday is Halloween
Puppy: And I will howl
Me: You will not howl
Puppy: You said it was Howloween! And I’m very good at howling
Me: No howling
Puppy: This is going to be confusing, isn’t it?
Me: Lots of children will knock on our door
Puppy: And I will bark
Me: That’s what I wanted to talk to you about
Puppy: You finally want to learn how to bark?
Me: Not exactly. I don’t want you to bark
Puppy: Do you see anyone else around here who is going to do the barking? I will bark
Me: I don’t think barking is necessary
Puppy: Barking is ALWAYS necessary!!!
Me: But these are friendly children
Puppy: They will come inside and play?
Me: No. They will say Trick or Treat
Puppy: That doesn’t sound friendly. I will bark
Me: No barking. When they say Trick or Treat we will give them candy
Puppy: And then they will come in and play?
Me: No, then they will leave
Puppy: Let me get this straight. No howling, no barking, no playing, but they get treats?
Me: Right
Puppy: And then they just leave?
Me: Right
Puppy: That is ridiculous
Me: That is Halloween
Puppy: Mom?
Me: Yes, pumpkin?
Puppy: Trick or treat
Me: You need a treat?
Puppy: I think I do
Me: Come on, good boy, let’s get you a treat
Puppy: A Treat!! A Treat!!! I love Treats!!!
Me: Here you go, sweetie
Puppy: Mom?
Me: Yes, baby?
Puppy: I’m still going to bark
Me: I was pretty sure you would
Puppy: And you love me anyway
Me: I absolutely love you anyway
Puppy: Enough for another treat?
Me: No more treats
Puppy: Sigh

Love, Mom

For more puppy conversations see

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Halloween and the Bengals | Black and Orange Rocks

Dear Kid,

For the vast majority of the years we’ve lived in Cincinnati, Halloween was a lovely fall evening, chilly but not frigid (especially for children running from house to house), the neighborhood resplendent with decorations and sugar-hyped trick or treaters, residents sitting outside enjoying the evening and handing out candy.

Not so last night. We were rained upon (and by “we” I mean the entire tri-state area). We were poured upon. We were monsooned upon.

Some towns in the area postponed Trick or Treat, but ours kept on keeping on. Which was good because tonight is the last High School football game of the season and if Halloween had been postponed we would not have been able to participate.

There was a small parade of children coming to our door. The costumes were great: Soggy Ghost, Soggy Princess, Soggy Hobo, Soggy Cowboy. Booker must have felt badly for all of the kids because he hardly barked at all. Then again, the lack of barking may have had something to do with the game of Throw The Blue Stuffed Owl he and Dad played (which left Booker exhausted and the Stuffed Owl thoroughly gnawed).

Cincinnati Bengals on Halloween DearKidLoveMom.comThe original plan had been for a gaggle of girls to come to our house for pizza and Trick or Treat. The gaggle turned out to be only a “ga” since several were unable to join us.  We still had pizza and Halloween chips (tortilla chips in orange and black). Then the girls braved the monsoon to find every piece of candy within a 14 mile radius. They got stopped by the police (really and truly) but only so the officer could give them candy. Once they got back we had to ring them out. Poor soggy, over-sugared girls.

Meanwhile, the Bengals were down in Miami where they played football in gorgeous weather. No monsoon at all. Here’s my theory: Halloween colors are Orange and Black. Bengals’ colors are Orange and Black. Halloween icon: scary cat. Bengals: scary cats. Winning was predestined. Unfortunately, the game turned out to be a little trickier than anticipated and the Bengals forgot to win. Darn Halloween.

Who Dey!

Love, Mom



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